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Glads Sweep Blades, Win 2-1

Friday, April 1st
Glads Sweep Blades, Win 2-1

Looking to get four points out of the weekend, and keep their playoff hopes alive, the Gladiators took down the Everblades for the second night in a row on Saturday. Joe Stejskal earned his first goal of the season, with what would eventually become the game winner, and goaltender Matt Ginn made 25 saves en route to Atlanta's 2-1 win. Atlanta continued the momentum from the previous night's victory over Florida as they collected the game's first goal 16:43 into the opening period. Eric Neiley gained possession of the puck from a hard forecheck behind the Everblades net and threw it out front to an open Justin Buzzeo. Buzzeo's shot was stopped by Florida goaltender Anthony Peters but landed right on the stick of Brock Higgs who sent the puck into a yawning net for his 19th goal of the season and the lone tally of the first frame.The Gladiators would benefit from a crazy bounce when Joe Stejskal scored to put Atlanta up 2-0 from his own defensive end. With just a few seconds remaining in the middle period, Stejskal whacked at a rolling puck from just shy of his own blueline sending it into the Florida zone. Peters came out to play the puck and saw it bounce over his stick and into the goal with .5 seconds left on the clock. Derek Nesbitt was credited with the lone assist on the first goal of the year for Stejskal and first tally since March, 27th 2015 vs. South Carolina when he was a member of the Toledo Walleye. Brenden O'Donnell brought the home side to within one with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. The Florida forward sent the puck between the legs of Atlanta goalie Matt Ginn from the slot for his fifth goal in as many nights. Kevin Lynch and Matt Marquardt registered the helpers on the powerplay goal. After a fierce equalizing attempt, Ginn shut down the Everblades and gave the Gladiators a weekend sweep of rival Florida. With the huge two points in the standings, Atlanta improved to 73 points on the season and remained in the hunt for a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Florida dropped their second in a row on home ice to the Gladiators, remain at 88 points and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

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